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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

Behind the scenes of the Fashion and Design Society’s 2022 ‘PRISM’ fashion show

The popular Picnic Day tradition is back in person


by CORALIE LOON — arts@theaggie.org


In the midst of a busy, post-pandemic Picnic Day, student models and designers strutted the sidewalk runway outside Cruess Hall, showing off the creative cumulation of months of sketching, measuring, sewing and imagining. The show was an assorted mesh of student visions, all united under the theme of wearable art.

The “PRISM” Fashion Show, run by the Fashion and Design Society (FADS), was made up of 10 featured collections and 11 single garments, all created by UC Davis students. 

Julia Dang, the chief of Internal Affairs and editor-in-chief of FADS, shared that the name PRISM was chosen collaboratively. 

“We chose PRISM because it’s supposed to represent shining a light on the future and finding light in darkness,” Dang said. 

The show started as volunteers modeled single garments from Introduction to Structural Design for Fashion (DES 77), in which students create jackets for their final projects, as well as from other garment creators across campus. From recycled textiles to Japanese prints, these statement pieces delivered singular visions of fashion as a place for sustainability and reuse.

During the second part of the show, student designers of the Signature Collections class (DES 179) presented a collection of three garments, each displaying an individually chosen theme and style. Lauren-Nicole Dorsey’s collection “Threshold” combines geometric collars with white, deep purple and vibrant orange color blocks. By comparison, Maya Tirumurti’s “stale interiors” is a more organic take on futurism, in which asymmetrical and even alien garments bubble in strange and surprising shapes.

Uriel Reyes, a third-year design major, created his first collection titled “Vividity” in DES 179 after learning how to sew last year. 

“It began with just wanting to emphasize the female physique, like different body types, making it very contoured to the body,” Reyes said.

His pieces emphasize bright colors, inspired from the colored buildings of coastal cities, and technical fabric manipulations such as pleating. Charlie Fornaca, a second-year Master of Science student in computer science, modeled for Reyes in the show.

“I got to see his process every step of the way and ask him about the different techniques he was using,” Fornaca said. “Just supporting them in their process was really cool.” 

While she’s modeled for different companies in the Elegant Goth and Lolita (EGL) niche, a Japanese street fashion, her involvement in the 2022 “PRISM” show was kickstarted by her joining FADS because of her interest in sewing and design as a hobby.

FADS, the only fashion club on campus, uses the publicity of the yearly fashion show to help support the Department of Design and design majors.

“When COVID hit, that was really sad, because this is how we rack in money for the design department,” Dang said. “This is how we get donors and sponsors to come and support our design community, because it is really small.”

After two years of streaming the yearly fashion show online through Twitch, the name “PRISM” seems even more fitting as an opportunity to shine a light on the future. The relief of finally celebrating in person was felt by everyone who attended the 2022 fashion show, including the designers. 

“I think the highlight was just finally getting to show it,” Reyes said about the completion of his collection. “I worked so hard at trying to complete it, that finally being able to just send them out and have everyone look at it and appreciate the work going into it was a big relief for me. I was like, ‘Damn, I really did that.’”

It’s no surprise that the fashion show is one of the most popular events on Picnic Day. Its flashy, daring and diverse collection of pieces are evidence of how fashion is a collaborative and constantly evolving process.

For those who are interested in fashion, design or simply supporting student artists, check out FADS’s website or visit their Designers Spotlight page to see more from the designers who are featured this year.


Written by: Coralie Loon — arts@theaggie.org



Lauren-Nicole Dorsey

  • geometric and futuristic “midnight blues, ivory and egg whites” mixed with a “vibrant eye-catching orange” 
  • white, deep purple and vibrant orange shapes, collars 

Maya Tirumurti’s “stale interiors”


  • where the students are from (DES 179)
  • a few highlighted pieces
  • anecdotes from Julia and Charlie about FADS
  • first show in 2 years! – raising money



Julia Dang

  • Julia Dang, Pronouns: She/Her, Year: 2nd, Major(s): Design & English, Title: FADS Chief of Internal Affairs & Editor in Chief


I’m currently the chief of Internal Affairs…… I’m next year’s president of FADS, so it’s kind of nerve wracking to run the fashion show next year… I also am the editor in chief of the FADS catalog… I do the photography for the club and I’ve done modeling in the past, so I lead all the models and designers doing the fashion show, so I run rehearsals and modeling workshops.

  • (run email account, social media, treasurer)

The Fashion and Design Society is the only fashion club on campus and we’ve been here for many years now, probably since the 70s, and every year we host an annual fashion show in collaboration with a DES 179 class… We also collect different pieces from across campus and the community to be included in the show…. The most interesting workshop we’ve had was out fashion debate… where people came and debated on different fashion topics.

  • workshops based on fashion, photography, styling, modeling, etc



When COVID hit, that was really sad, because this is how we rack in money for the design department, this is how we get donors and sponsors to come and support our design community because it is really small in UC Davis. The last couple of years we had it online and live streamed on Switch… 

The fashion part of the design department is really small, and there are three main classes” (DES 77, DES 107, DES 179)… 

  • single garments are from DES 77, in which students make jackets for their final project, as well as from different people across campus

It’s not just strictly for the design department, it’s for everyone, but so that we gain funds for the design department. 



It was a collaborative effort of the board. This year I was the person who suggested the name “PRISM”… We chose PRISM because it’s supposed to represent shining a light on the future and finding light in darkness… it started out as just ideas and became something bigger. 


Favorite things about FADS/design:

I love that this community, even though it’s so small, we accept anyone and everyone on campus, it’s not limited to a certain year or age range, it’s not limited to any major, anyone can join, there’s no fee…. All of our activities bring people together in a way that’s truly amazing… we watch movies together, we play games. And at the same time it stays kind of educational, we talk about topics such as sustainability, on fads which are destroying the planet…

Design is such a broad major, and you can do anything coming out of it… there’s so much in this field that’s open to anyone, and I feel like anyone can be a design major, no matter your skill set. I love how open and accepting this community and design department is.


UC Davis is the only UC that offers a design program, but we’re also the only UC that doesn’t have any access to Adobe Suite for free… It’s kind of unfair because we as the design department use it so often in every single class, but it’s not available to us. So we’re trying to get money for that…. The fashion show is a big way we get money other than donors or sponsors.


We’re lucky that this is one of the biggest events on Picnic Day, it gets a lot of attention and we’re so proud of it. We hope that we’re able to put on a good show.


Last thoughts…

People who attended should know that this was a collaborative effort, it wasn’t just our club… it was the entire UC Davis community coming in and doing this. 

Table of wearable technology… there was a glove that had sensors on it, it was mainly for people who had some neuro disorder. 


10 designers of the Signature Collection class (DES 179), 10 featured collections (30 pieces – 3 pieces per collection)

  • 11 single garments from individual UC Davis students

DES 107 (advanced fashion)

  • focus on draping and dresses
  • dress collection called “Red Dress” also in collaboration with medical department

DES 77

  • jackets as final project = single garments in fashion show
  • but also not

DES 179

  • students work the whole quarter to produce 3 garments based on a theme, which is features in the yearly fashion show


Charlie Fornaca


2nd year MS grad student in Computer Science



Because I’m involved with the club, there was a call for models and I’m a grad student so I’m always looking for opportunities to support the undergrads and be a mentor to them.

(been a part of FADS since fall quarter last year)

I joined FADS because I like sewing and design as a hobby, it has nothing to do with my major… prior to FADS I have had some modeling experience, I’ve done photoshoots here and there, mostly for this niche fashion called Elegant Goth and Lolita (EGL), it’s a japanese street fashion. So I’ve done a lot of modeling for different companies, mostly overseas, within that niche fashion


Modeling for PRISM

I modeled for Uriel. This was his first big foray into garment making. It was really cool because I saw the original mock-up and so that was the first garment I was fitted to. I got to see his process every step of the way and ask him about the different techniques he was using…

Just supporting them in their process was really cool.


It’s definitely not the biggest crowd that I’ve modeled for, but I think it was the most challenging, only because the sidewalk we walked on was cobbly, and I was in heels… It felt like there was a lot more pressure because there were a lot of people there and it wasn’t just for a niche, I think because it was so open to the general public and open to students and visitors… It was a little intimidating. 


Favorite thing about FADS/show:

It was really cool just being in person and returning to that physical community, being literally physically surrounded by people and you’re excited and you’re all supporting each other. 

I feel really excited to mentor younger students, being able to be that person and support and make sure they have a great experience is really nice.


I’m really grateful to FADS for welcoming me into their club. 


Uriel Reyes

  • Tell me about your collection, your inspiration and process?
  • How was your experience with the 2022 Fashion Show?
  • What made you interested in fashion/design?


Uriel Reyes (He/Him/His)

3rd Year Design Major


I was coming in as a SOC major, but my first year I found out they had a design major… I just fell in love with all the classes, and that’s when I decided I think that’s what I want to do.

The whole 10 weeks are dedicated to making them and finalizing them… My process was a little bit different from everyone else’s because my pieces were more form-fitting and had to be tailored specifically toward the models.


I was so stressed about finishing… I got a little behind, or a lot behind, because I didn’t finish until literally the night before the fashion show.



It began with just wanting to emphasize the female physique, like different body types, making it very contoured to the body. And I’m just really drawn into a bunch of bold colors, so I knew color was something I wanted to incorporate. I was just looking at various cities from around the world and how some of their buildings are painted different colors, especially coastal cities… that was my inspiration too… I wanted to mix structural pieces and form fitting pieces with more flowy pieces… I wanted to play with some technical fabric manipulations, so there’s a lot of pleating in my collection, and also the use of unconventional materials, so I have a bunch of nut hardwares…



I think the highlight was just finally getting to show it, like I worked so hard at trying to complete it, that finally being able to just send them out and have everyone look at it and appreciate the work going into it was a big relief for me. I was like, “damn, I really did that.”


Time management… I learned how to sew last year in one of the design classes. I was still fairly new, so I was still learning how to work the sewing machine while trying to make my vision work.

…It’s worth it in the end.


Right before the show, just tryna get everything together in under 30 minutes was just a big stress. But in the end I’m proud of the whole show and what I was able to accomplish in a couple months, 5 months. And for this to be my first collection is a proud moment for me, and being able to share that with all my friends and family… I’ve just received a lot of wonderful comments, and it’s just the best feeling ever.



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